Found October 08, 2013 on
Sports Report SoCal:
Consistency is key
Was it me or was this a trip down memory lane, well maybe nightmare on elm street is more like it. Last night, Rivers showed us the side of him we all want to forget about, but somehow this type performance seems to always pop up just as the Chargers build some momentum.
It all started with a slow start, well the Charger engine never got going until late in the second half. The slow start and 17-0 hole the team put itself into was too great for the team to come back from. No team can afford to spot the opposition a three-score lead, and that is especially true on the road. Antonio Gates said it best in the aftermath of the game, “you’ve got to tip your cap to them; they just outplayed us tonight really. It’s hard enough to win on the road, but when you give a team a 17 point lead, you’re fighting an uphill battle the rest of the way. It’s a tough thing to overcome in this league.” I guess this shouldn’t come to surprise any of us seeing how the Chargers have already done this once before this season, yes 5 games into the season.
In addition to the slow start, the Chargers made too many mistake to win the football game. Winning on the road is difficult enough, but committing five turnovers, giving up big plays on defense and committing special team blunders are a recipe for disaster. As such, Head Coach Mike McCoy lamented the team’s mistakes and lack of execution immediately following the game, “no excuses; we got beat tonight. We came out and got beat in all three phases. It’s tough to go on the road and turn the ball over the way we did. We gave up too many big plays. It all starts with just executing the system that’s in place. There was a lack of execution. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us so we’ll just keep working.” You see theme here? “Hard to win on the road,” “it’s a battle,” and “they beat us.” Words the Chargers just cannot afford to keep saying during these pressers.
On a positive note, the performance of the two young, dynamic wide receivers in Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown, showed they are true players, who each had their best game of the young season. The duo combined for 232 yards on 14 catches. Allen recorded six grabs for 115 yard and his first TD while Brown had a team-high 117 yards on eight receptions, including a 51-yard strike up the left sideline late in the third quarter. Like many of his teammates and coaches, Philip Rivers was encouraged by the performance of the two youngsters and what they bring to the table. But being encouraged or optimistic is not going to win you ball games, especially in this league when every game matters and every week you are either a winner or a loser.
Once again, the Chargers relied on many reserves entering the game, and for the most part they still enough to get by. During the game, the team lost a couple of weapons, most notably Ryan Matthews, Jarret Johnson and Mike Harris. With the loss of the latter, undrafted rookie Nick Becton who was promoted from the practice squad prior to Week 4 stepped in, becoming the third left tackle the team has used. Even so, the team didn’t miss too much of a beat as Rivers mentioned, “you saw the ball going up and down the field. It wasn’t like we were stuck in mud there with the changes and couldn’t get a first down.”
So far, the season has been up and down and a see-saw each and every week of the season; the Bolts fell only to bounce back with a win the following week. While the team has been prepared each week, what many have said they learned so far from this back and forth is that the games they have been victorious have been when they were the best prepared. That being said, they will spend the next day or two watching the tape to learn from their mistakes in order to be prepared for the Indianapolis Colts.
A Look Ahead
The Indianapolis Colts are next for the Bolts. The Colts are coming off a big win against one of the top NFC teams in the Seattle Seahawks. The Colts have also had other big wins against the 49ers. The Chargers are averaging 25 points per game while the Colts are averaging slightly more with 27.8 points per game. Since 2001, have had the advantage winning 5 of the last 7 games against the Colts, but this is not a game they should over look; I don’t expect them to. I expect a Chargers team to come in with a chip on their shoulder after being embarrassed by their division rival and show the world they are not dead and they can contend in this division which is becoming very competitive.
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